Two years isn’t a long time for a restaurant to be open. It is, however, a remarkably short time for it to become a beloved one. Chef Jim Noble opened Rooster’s Uptown inside One Bank of America Center, his second location of the upscale casual concept, five years after opening Rooster’s in SouthPark. The rustic eatery which boasts a wood fired grill for spit-roasting meats and farm fresh vegetables has become a favorite gathering place among Charlotteans.
Sitting inside the cozy lair of Rooster’s Uptown, one instantly forgets the sterile setting in which the location exists. Rooster’s trademark rustic decor eclipses the neutral corporate palette outside its doors and welcomes you instead to its tobacco colored leather booths, open kitchen and amber ambiance. Even the tables in the center of the room maintain a high level of intimacy thanks to wooden tables and sparse industrial lighting.
Executive Chef Joe Kindred, a longtime employee of Jim Noble, moved from the SouthPark Rooster’s location to open Rooster’s Uptown. Here, he has added his own voice to the daily specials menu where you can find seasonal offerings like the hickory grilled yellowtail tuna from Stone Seafood, a local purveyor out of China Grove, served atop New Town Farms baby carrots, Poplar Ridge Farm turnips and white acre beans. The dish is finished with a rich potlikker fortified with butter, herbs and flavorful stock. In addition to composed specials, Kindred also started the charcuterie program at Rooster’s which focuses on interesting cuts of meat and use of whole muscles. His philosophy is something he picked up while working at top restaurants in San Francisco and seeks to honor each ingredient. By the way, the house cured duck ham with silky fats is melt-in-your-mouth at its finest.
The classic a la carte menu at Rooster’s focuses heavily on artisanal craftsmanship, local producers and European technique. On any given day, guests can find a selection of wood-fired pizzas, handcrafted pastas (a crowd favorite) and spit-fire roasted meats. The pan fried corn is a must try. Simple in its preparation, the sweet corn kernels are cooked with butter and herbs for an elevated dose of comfort. Perhaps it is the combination of daily specials and expertly prepared go-to items that keeps people coming back. Or, maybe it is the warm, inviting space. Whatever the case, Rooster’s has found a formula for success that continues to impress its patrons. So much so that Jim Noble has plans to open a third location in Charleston, South Carolina soon.